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Ambulance thief gets 2 years behind bars

2 EMTs in the back were injured after he jumped into the front seat of a parked ambulance and drove erratically before crashing into a building

Alexis Stevens
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ATLANTA, Ga. — Prosecutors said Thursday the man who stole an ambulance told two paramedics to hang on right before he took them on a scary ride. But the man’s attorney said at a pre-trial hearing that Frank Ponquinette was dehydrated and delirious at the time.

Ponquinette, 37, pleaded guilty to charges related to the June incident, when he jumped in the front seat of an ambulance that was parked on the emergency room ramp at Emory University Hospital on Clifton Road. He was wearing a hospital gown and rubber gloves at the time, fire officials previously said.

“He noticed the two EMS employees in the back and told them they better hang on,” prosecutor Shannon Hodder said.

Ponquinette drove erratically before crashing the ambulance into a building. He ran from the scene, but was arrested later the same day.

Prosecutors asked for 10 years to serve five behind bars, since the paramedics suffered injuries. But Judge Gail Flake decided Ponquinette needed help for his mental and drug problems.

Flake sentenced him to 10 years to serve two behind bars. Ponquinette was returned to the DeKalb County jail following his plea.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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